Caera Sturgis, who is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Wesson Attendance Center in Mississippi for excluding her name and photo from the senior year book after she chose to wear a tuxedo in her portrait. Sturgis attended the school from Kindergarten through high school, had a 3.9 grade point average, and participated in an array of extracurricular activities. When Sturgis' portrait was rejected by the school because of the tuxedo, school officials insisted that it was "school policy" for female students to wear a drape for their senior portraits, according to the Associated Press . The school also reportedly ignored ACLU attempts to negotiate in October 2009.
Bear Atwood, the interim Legal Director for the ACLU said in an ACLU Press Release, "This should never have been an issue. Title IX and the Constitution prohibit school officials from forcing students to conform to gender stereotypes. Ceara should not have been expected to compromise her everyday appearance and identity for her senior portrait. The school's actions are discriminatory, unlawful and mean-spirited."
Also in the ACLU press release, Sturgis said, "I went to school with my classmates my whole life, and it hurts that I'm not included in my senior yearbook as part of my graduating class." She continued, "I never thought that my school would punish me just for being who I am."
The ACLU recently represented another Mississippi teen, Constance McMillen, whose school banned same-sex partners at prom and then cancelled the prom. In April, McMillen was invited to a decoy prom in order to prevent her from attending a separate prom parents had organized. The McMillen case was settled out of court in July.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .